Mortality of artificially fertilized, laboratory incubated eggs of common wolffish,Anarhichas lupus L., was 100% within 2–3 weeks, at the gastrulation step. The eggs from batches with a high proportion of normally cleavaged eggs died later than the eggs from batches with a low proportion of such eggs. Light micrographs of egg shells showed ulceration of the outer layer and subsequent destruction of the inner layer of zona radiata, caused byFlexibacter sp. The bacterial infection provoked premature hatching at later stages of embryonal development. Treating eggs with glutaraldehyde at a concentration of 600 mg l−1 every third to fifth day during incubation prevented the mortality caused by bacteria.